“In 2020, motor drives represented the most significant power module market with a value of US$1.6 billion,” announced Shalu Agarwal, Ph.D., Power Electronics & Materials Analyst at Yole Développement (Yole).“However, by 2026, EV/HEVs will become the most significant power module market, representing a market value of almost US$3.6 billion. In addition, the power module packaging raw materials market is growing and will reach an impressive US$3.5 billion by 2026.”
This market’s promising outlook is beneficial for the power module packaging business, which Yole covers in a new dedicated report: Status of the Power Module Packaging Industry. This report is one of an impressive collection of power electronics & compound semiconductor reports and monitors offered by Yole. At the beginning of the year, the market research and strategy consulting company already released its annual EV/HEV report, Power Electronics for E-Mobility, presenting the latest technology trends and market evolution in this domain.
Yole also works closely with System Plus Consulting to get an in-depth understanding of the technologies selected by the leading semiconductor companies. For example, System Plus Consulting developed a dedicated reverse engineering and costing report focused on Vitesco Technologies’ power module for the Jaguar I-PACE inverter. This analysis is available today in a dedicated report: Vitesco Technologies Power Module in Jaguar I-PACE Inverter. Supported by a full teardown of the module, this report reveals Vitesco Technologies’ technology choices in packaging as well as the designs of its IGBT and diode chips.
Amine Allouche, Technology & Cost Analyst, Power Electronics at System Plus Consulting, explains: “Power module design, and especially the packaging approach, are at the heart of power electronics innovations. The aim of the leading semiconductor companies is to enhance performance. Today, we find significant innovation in all power module structures, from the baseplate and substrate assembly down to the die attach, through the electrical connection. In Vitesco Technologies’ solution, the module is based on an innovative chip assembly process, including double-sided sintering. To enhance electrical performance, clip connections and substrates are optimized for silver sintering. Moreover, the baseplate is designed specifically for strict automotive performance requirements.”
Today, analysts continue their investigation and delve deeper into the power electronics technologies to reveal the latest innovations at the power electronics module level. The Status of the Power Module Packaging Industry report also provides a focus on SiC & GaN power devices and their packaging technologies. It reveals insights into power module substrates, technology trends, and the supply chain. It details the power module packaging requirements for various applications and delivers a special focus on the Chinese market. 800V batteries and their impact on the power module packaging market are also well described in this new report.
Yole and System Plus Consulting work together daily to follow the power electronics industry, in which packaging and power modules play a key role. In addition to the China – US trade war, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the current semiconductor shortage, companies face numerous business issues and technical challenges. In this dynamic context, analysts today offer you a snapshot of this industry.
In the past, power packaging technology needs were driven by industrial applications. Today, EV/HEV applications increasingly drive technology trends in power module packaging. The power, frequency, efficiency, robustness, reliability, weight, volume, and cost requirements of automotive power modules are often more severe than industrial products due to the high vehicle safety standards and harsh environment. Therefore, high power density and highly reliable power module packages are needed.
Shalu Agarwal from Yole comments further: “Today, silicon-based power modules are the standard for EV/HEV systems. However, SiC semiconductors provide higher efficiency compared to silicon-based die. Therefore, SiC-based power modules are also gaining popularity in the automotive market. The introduction of SiC technology pushes the development of new power packaging solutions as SiC devices can work at higher junction temperatures and higher switching frequencies with smaller die sizes.”
Power module packaging solutions are moving towards high-performance materials while reducing the number of layers, the size, and interfaces and conserving electrical, thermal, and mechanical characteristics.
The vast business opportunity in the power module packaging market attracts interest from different players in the power electronics supply chains. However, power module packaging technology is more than just wire bonding, soldering, and encapsulation. Packaging technologies, especially for applications with a strong demand for power density, performance, and reliability, are very complex and require specific know-how.
Many newcomers in power module packaging have underestimated package complexity and struggle to bring their packaging concepts to commercial production. Initially, they targeted performance and reliability. Nowadays, many players must refocus their development efforts on manufacturing processes and material choices to achieve acceptable manufacturing yield and throughput and reduce manufacturing costs. Therefore, external partners with the required know-how are more than welcome to speed up development and bring products to market earlier.